BUSINESS NEWS IN BRIEF 27/2

Created 27 February 2019
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Credit limit to double for the poor,Rubber exports plummet during first two months,Vinacafé reports high profit for 2018,Japanese investment pouring into packaging production

PM welcomes Japan commerce chamber to shift investment to Vietnam

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has welcomed the initiative of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) to shift Japan’s investment from other countries to Vietnam and other Mekong River nations.

At a reception for Yoichi Kobayashi, Chairman of the Japan-Mekong Business Cooperation Committee, in Hanoi on February 26, the Prime Minister highly appreciated the contributions of the committee in promoting economic exchanges between Vietnam and Japan through fact-finding tours to study Vietnam’s policies, the organisation of relevant workshops, and recommendations to improve the nation’s investment climate.

He asked the JCCI to continue organising business delegations in the fields of agriculture, support industry, information technology, Internet of Things, urban planning, and tourism to survey and invest in Vietnam, as well as increase cooperation with Vietnamese firms.

The Vietnamese government will create all favourable conditions for Japanese groups and enterprises to do business in Vietnam, he said, adding that he will assign ministries and relevant agencies to address the recommendations of Japanese firms relating to Vietnam’s policies and mechanisms.

Yoichi Kobayashi said the visiting JCCI delegation to Vietnam includes about 30 businesses operating in the fields of industry, services, and finance. 

He hopes that trade, investment, and economic cooperation between Vietnam and Japan will be further expanded in the coming time. 

From April this year, the Japanese government will also increase its reception of Vietnamese workers with the specified skills visa. He hoped that more Vietnamese people will come to learn and work in Japan.

The JCCI is actively coordinating with Vietnamese ministries, relevant agencies, and localities to implement specific measures to increase economic partnership.

He hailed the economic development guideline of the Vietnamese government, which is reaping good outcomes.

Vietnam has a young and abundant labour force with high skills, he said, adding that if the country’s infrastructure is further developed in the future, its labour advantage will be greatly optimised.

Vietnam has become more important to Japan over the years, he said, hoping that the two sides would soon sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The JCCI will do its utmost to contribute to the development of economic, trade, and investment relations with Vietnam, he affirmed. 

Japanese businesses study investment in Ha Nam province


Secretary of Ha Nam Party Committee Nguyen Dinh Khang (standing) speaks at the working session with a business delegation from Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry 

A business delegation from the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) had a working session with authorities from the northern province of Ha Nam on February 26 to explore the local investment environment.

Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Dinh Khang highlighted the comprehensive diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan in all fields, which is a favourable condition for Japanese businesses to invest in Vietnam and Ha Nam in particular.

He hoped that the JCCI would pay greater attention to Ha Nam, especially in promoting the local investment environment to Japanese firms.

Yoichi Kobayashi, Chairman of the Japan-Mekong Business Cooperation Committee, said the JCCI delegation wants to further study the advantages of Ha Nam, as well as its investment attraction policies and mechanisms.

He said JCCI has over 1.2 million member businesses operating all across Japan.

His committee is one of the five departments of the JCCI, which is responsible for helping the chamber promote investment and economic development cooperation between Japan and other countries in the region and the world.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Truong Quoc Huy said Ha Nam is the southern gateway of the capital Hanoi with a convenient transport system and abundant human resources.

The province has eight industrial parks approved by the prime minister, including six operational ones. Notably, Ha Nam is home to the Dong Van III support industrial park, which has been specifically designed for Japanese businesses, he said.

Its high-tech agricultural parks are drawing a large number of both domestic and foreign businesses, he noted.

The provincial People’s Committee pledged to provide the best conditions for Japanese investors to promote production in Ha Nam.

So far, 82 Japanese businesses have registered to invest in Ha Nam with a total capital of 873.3 million USD. 

Inaugural seminar on multi-dimensional review of Vietnam

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue (standing) speaks at the seminar 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) held an inaugural seminar on the multi-dimensional review of Vietnam in Hanoi on February 26. 

Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son highly appreciated the support of the OECD in kickstarting this important review.

Jan Rielaender, head of Multi-dimensional Country Reviews (MDCR) for the OECD, said that through the review, Vietnam will have an opportunity to learn from the experience and knowledge of other countries’ reform processes, while the other 53 member nations of the OECD will also gain a better understanding of Vietnam and learn from its successes and challenges, as well as share their know-how.

He recommended that Vietnam take on its sustainable development goals as an important target which must be achieved by 2030. Each nation should map out its own path and define its most important targets, he suggested.

World Bank Country Director for Vietnam Ousmane Dione evaluated Vietnam as having the most encouraging development steps in the world since its reforms process began.

The rapid growth of its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 is also a good signal for Vietnam, he said.

He suggested Vietnam further develop the private economic sector; build on its national reform capacity; increase resilience to climate change; develop a modernised institutional system; connect domestic and foreign businesses; create a more favourable business environment; and promote innovation.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue hailed the OECD for actively coordinating with the Vietnamese government, ministries, and sectors to soon inaugurate the multi-dimensional review of Vietnam, which is important to the building of the Vietnam development strategy through 2030 with a vision to 2045.

According to Hue, besides promoting economic growth, Vietnam also pays special attention to developing other social fields which enables the public to join the nation’s socio-economic development.

For a long time, budget collection has only increased by 10-12 percent, while the state budget expenditure for social security activities has reached 23-25 percent.

The Deputy PM cited the UN Development Programme’s report in 2018 which stated that Vietnam has gained a lot of progresses in human development and multi-dimensional poverty reduction. The country’s human development index (HDI) has increased consecutively for over the past 27 years.

The multi-dimensional review of Vietnam should point out which areas are bottlenecks in the development of Vietnam and share new emerging development trends in the world, he suggested. 

SHB warns of fake websites
shb warns of fake websites

Following the troubles of VietinBank, Vietcombank, and BIDV, most recently, Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) warned about fake websites imitating its official site to swindle customers.

SHB has just discoveredone Facebook account Faith Geren who enticed one of the bank’s customers to go fifty-fifty on the $7.3-million reward he claimed to have won from a website that was built to imitate SHB’s website.

The bank’s representative said that a lot of scammers are trying to take advantage of the bank’s prestige by setting up fake websites imitating them.

Specifically, victims receive notifications about winning rewards via email, text messages, and Facebook messages, after which they are required to sign in to the fake website to receive their prize.

Once the victims sign in at the fake websites, the hackers can easily steal their bank account details, then do illegal things like appropriate money from the victim’s bank account or make online purchases.

The bank’s representative recommended customers to be careful with emails, text messages, and Facebook messages that promise rewards or require them to transfer money.

In addition, SHB also recommends customers to pay attention to the URL address of the website they are entering, as only the following are official websites of SHB: https://www.shb.com.vn, https://ibanking.shb.com.vn, and https://ibanking.shb.com.vn/corp.

Last year, Vietcombank, BIDV, and VietinBank customers were also hit by similar scams. The abundance of fake websites caused the banks to have to constantly issue warnings of fraud to customers.

The fake websites sport near-identical design to the real websites, with similar domain names (with maybe one letter of difference). This convinced people that they are official websites and users naturally signed in with their online banking information.

Japanese investment pouring into packaging production

Packaging is still one of the most attractive sectors, especially while processing and manufacturing, agriculture, and services are developing rapidly, posing diverse demand.

Right after the Tet holiday, the Japan-invested factory of Artpresto Vietnam with the total investment of $5 million broke ground in Chau Son Industrial Zone, Ha Nam province, aiming to produce high-quality packaging products. When finished, the capacity of Artpresto Vietnam will be at 40 million products annually.

Artpresto, specialising in the design and trading of packaging and printing, was established in 1983 under Japan’s Bandai Namco Holdings. The total revenue of Artpresto in 2018 is estimated at JPY8 billion ($72.25 million).

Urano Masahiro, general director of Artpresto Vietnam, said that the factory will be part of the corporation’s supply chain of high-quality packaging for the Japanese and Vietnamese market. He confirmed that the demand of the parent company, Bandai Namco Holdings, and it is ample to accommodate the Vietnamese factory’s output.

Moreover, Artpresto Vietnam is the company’s first foothold in the Vietnamese

market, and will be the foundation for development in the Southeast Asia region. The holdings will be able to pour more and more money to expand business scale in Vietnam in the time coming, if it can perform as expected.

Earlier, in the middle of last year, United Packaging Co., Ltd. invested by Japanese Oji Holdings Corporation also developed a factory in Tan Phu Trung Industrial Park in Cu Chi ward, Ho Chi Minh City on an area of 5ha and with total investment of $15 million.

Using green and cutting-edge technologies, the factory of United Packaging manufactures paper cups and paper boxes for fast food restaurants, movie theatres, and teashops. This is the sixth facility of Oji Holdings Corporation in Vietnam, after projects in Haiphong, Ha Nam, and the 31st factory in Southeast Asia. The facility is expected to be put into operation next May.

With the annual growth rate of 10-15 per cent, along with the trend of expansion and acquisition, processing and packaging in Vietnam is considered an attractive industry due to the diversity of forms, designs, and materials in demand. The industry’s growth rate is estimated at 25 per cent this year.

Nguyen Ngoc Sang, chairman of the Vietnam Packaging Association (VINPAS), said that foreign packaging companies are coming to Vietnam to seize business opportunities and a the same time accelerate the development of the domestic packaging industry. As competition is growing fierce, domestic businesses will have to invest more to catch up with the industry’s development.

Vietnam Expo – Networking and sharing for mutual success

vietnam expo networking and sharing for mutual success

After a prosperous year for the national economy, the Organising Board of Vietnam Expo is ready to turn the page on another fruitful edition of the fair, continuing to promote import, export, trade, and investment, introducing Vietnamese products to the world and attracting foreign enterprises to explore the local market.

With the history of being one of the most prestigious and long-standing trade promotion events in Vietnam, Vietnam Expo has maintained its strong position from year to year. Vietnam Expo 2019 will be held at Hanoi International Center for Exhibition (ICE) at 91 Tran Hung Dao Street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi.

Enterprises from 15 foreign nations have confirmed their participation in Vietnam Expo 2019 so far. The show is expected to attract exhibitors from 20 countries and territories and welcome 15,000 visitors during four days.

This year, the organiser will shift focus onto four outstanding zones, including international pavilions, Vietnam Value, industrial products, as well as food and consumer goods. Due to the existing infrastructure and scale of ICE, there will be more advantages for major enterprises to attend the show. Vietnam Expo is at the very final preparation stage, setting the stage for many well-designed booths, modern products, and technologies to be displayed this April.

In addition to eye-catching international pavilions, the Vietnam Value zone is a platform where Vietnamese enterprises honoured with the “Vietnam Value” title can exhibit their locally-made products and services. It aims to promote the national image of Vietnam, a country known for its variety of high-quality products and services with the three core values of “Quality – Innovation – Leadership.”

Besides, it also fosters the recognition and competitiveness of Vietnamese trade names in both domestic and international markets. Participants recognise that Vietnam Expo offers Vietnamese export companies many opportunities to meet with new and potential partners.

Moreover, as a reliable and regular partner throughout all editions of Vietnam Expo, the Korean Institute of Design Promotion (KIDP) under the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has been proactively helping Vietnamese companies improve capabilities in specialised design under the Korea-Vietnam Design Sharing project under which South Korean designers share their skills, processes, and experience in designing packages through brand identity systems.

Customers will come across an exhibition area with many models and maps – the Vietnam Industry Development & Investment Promotion Zone.

Businesses from Algeria, India, Cambodia, Armenia, Russia, Canada, Cuba, Taiwan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Japan, and China have confirmed their participation in Vietnam Expo 2019 so far. The show is expected to attract exhibitors from 20 countries and territories and welcome 15,000 visitors during four days.

From April 10 to 13, Vietnam Expo 2019 will be hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam and organised by VINEXAD. The exhibitions will be open from 9AM to 6PM at Hanoi International Center for Exhibition.

Vinacafé reports high profit for 2018

vinacafe reports high profit for 2018

After being fully acquired by Masan, Vietnam National Coffee Corporation (Vinacafe) reported high profit, while Trung Nguyen is in conflict.

Vinacafé published its financial report for 2018, showing positive revenue movements. Accordingly, the company accumulated a revenue of VND3.45 trillion ($150 million), up 6 per cent compared to 2017 ($145.22 million).

Notably, pre-tax profit surged by 70 per cent, from VND453 billion ($19.7 million) in 2017 to VND776.8 billion ($33.77 million) in 2018.

The main reason for this sudden growth may have been the cost of sales. Thanks to Masan Beverage, Vinacafé seems to have found a way to develop.

Previously, Masan Group in December 2018 announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Masan Beverage Co., Ltd. launched a tender offer to acquire all of the shares in Vinacafé.

Since then, Vinacafé said that the firm changed from “selling merchandise” to “building brand” and centralising distribution through Masan Consumer’s selling system. This method helps to decrease unsold inventories and cost of sales, therefore increasing expenses to build the brand.

Thanks to this method, Vinacefé’s cost of sales in 2018 was only VND33 billion ($1.43 million), down 95.6 per cent vis-a-vis 2017 ($31.43 million).

However, gross profit in 2018 fell by VND378 billion ($16.43 million) compared to one year before.

In 2018, Vinacafé Bien Hoa sold nearly VND3 trillion ($130.43 million) worth of goods to Masan Consumer, equal to 87 per cent of its total revenue, according to newswire trithuctre.vn.

At the beginning of 2018, Masan Beverage increased its ownership in Vinacafé Bien Hoa from 68.5 to 98.5 per cent, which has obviously impacted its financial performance during the year.

Regarding the product structure of Vinacafé Bien Hoa, Masan Consumer reported that instant coffee sales grew by 11 per cent, from VND1.532 trillion ($66.6 million) to VND1.708 trillion ($74.26 million) mainly due to increased production.

This is a positive signal since the slowdown in growth in 2014. The stagnating growth of coffee is not only a problem for Vinacafé. During 2014-2017, Trung Nguyen also failed to increase revenue, stagnating at about VND3-4 trillion ($130-173.9 million) per year with VND700-800 billion ($30.43 – 34.78 million) of pre-tax profit.

However, while the overall prospects of the instant coffee industry are still not too bright, and Trung Nguyen is still struggling with the internal conflict of its two key leaders, Vinacafé Bien Hoa has found a new growth motivation in the coffee-flavoured energy drink Wake-up 247.

Launched in 2014 and making less than VND300 billion ($13.04 million) in revenue, by the end of 2018 Vinacafé Bien Hoa’s energy drinks sales even surpassed instant coffee, fetching a revenue of VND1.95 trillion ($84.78 million).

Masan has made strong investments in Wake-up 247. The firm is also the main sponsor of the V-League 2019 to promote its products widely.

Vietnam emerged as hot new market for luxury property: Bloomberg

vietnam emerged as hot new market for luxury property: bloomberg hinh 0

Vietnam’s status as one of the fastest-growing economies has spurred overseas investors to target the nation’s real estate, alongside a rapidly growing cohort of well-heeled domestic buyers, eager to put hard currency into property, Bloomberg reported.

In a world where home prices are looking precarious from London to Hong Kong, Sydney and New York, it makes Vietnam an attractive location.

Vietnam is where southern China was 10 or 15 years ago, Goodwin Gaw, chairman of Hong Kong-based private-equity firm Gaw Capital Partners, which oversees US$17 billion in real estate assets globally, told Bloomberg.  

It is no longer a sure thing considering home prices have been rising steadily over the past 18 months, but “long term it’s still very good if you’re able to hunker down,” Gaw was quoted by Bloomberg as saying. 

Prices for luxury condominiums in Ho Chi Minh City climbed 17% in 2018 to an average of US$5,518 per square meter, according to CBRE Group Inc. The firm forecasts they would climb nearly 10% by early 2020 to US$6,000 per square meter.

While that is almost double the price for a typical high-end apartment in Ho Chi Minh City, it’s a fraction of the cost in Singapore, Tokyo or Hong Kong, the world’s least affordable market.

Ilsang Cho, a spokesman for Hana Tour, a South Korean travel agency that arranges multi-day package tours to Vietnam to visit apartments, said there is huge interest for investing in Vietnam.  

While demand from overseas investors remains strong, the latest wave of buyers are Vietnam’s newly prosperous. The number of people with net assets of US$30 million or more increased by 320% from 2006 and 2016, the fastest pace globally ahead of India and China, according to a 2017 report by Knight Frank.

Many Vietnamese have built their wealth with real estate, according to Chris Freund, founder of private-equity firm Mekong Capital. Home ownership rates exceed 90%, one of the highest in the world. Rising values mean there are middle-class families with dwellings in excess of US$1 million.

Neil MacGregor, a managing director at Savills Vietnam, said developers used to focus on the middle class but are now turning their attention to the more affluent. More and more rich Vietnamese, particularly entrepreneurs are looking for places to put their money, MacGregor added.

Another factor driving demand for urban apartments is the shift away from the Asian tradition of several generations living under one roof. 

Young couples prefer to escape from their parents after marriage, said Duong Thuy Dung, a senior director at CBRE. 

Most Asian businesses always turn to real estate when they become successful in whatever core business they have, according to Andy Ho, chief investment officer at VinaCapital. 

When their country’s wealth grows up, people buy real estate, he added.

Rubber exports plummet during first two months

rubber exports plummet during first two months hinh 0

Vietnam’s rubber exports were estimated to reach only 186,000 tons during the first two months of 2019, worth a total value of US$274 million, representing a drop in both volume and value.

Rubber exports reached 51,000 tons in February, totaling US$76 million in value.

According to the Agency of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, rubber exports in February saw a drop for the second consecutive month with a trading volume of 51,000 tons, worth US$76 million.

This shows steep on-month drops of 61.8 per cent and 61 per cent, respectively. 

China was Vietnam’s major importer of rubber products, accounting for 66.2 per cent of the country’s total rubber exports. In total, China imported 104,000 tons of rubber from Vietnam, valued at a total of US$131.6 million.

This was followed by India which imported 13,500 tons of rubber, totaling US$17.7 million in value.

Meanwhile, rubber exports to EU member states and Southeast Asian countries experienced drops in both volume and value against the corresponding period last year.

Potential remains huge for Vietnam-Cambodia economic cooperation

Potential remains huge for economic cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai has affirmed.

potential remains huge for vietnam-cambodia economic cooperation hinh 0

Bilateral trade between Vietnam and Cambodia approximated 4.7 billion USD in 2018, up 23.8 percent year-on-year

Granting an interview to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the Cambodia visit by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and President Nguyen Phu Trong from February 25-26, Hai said that both Vietnam and Cambodia are dynamically developing countries in the region whose economic potential has yet to be tapped fully, opening up opportunities to further boost economic collaboration activities.

The two nations hold numerous similarities in culture, market demand and consumer habits, which can also make Vietnamese goods and services be easily welcomed in the Cambodian market.

Along with bilateral agreements, trade deals in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will help connect the two economies, Hai stated, suggesting the nations foster cooperation in consumer products, energy, mining, aquaculture, and forestry.

According to the deputy minister, economic and trade cooperation holds an important role in bilateral relations. Vietnam is currently Cambodia’s third largest trade partner, with two-way trade enjoying an average growth rate of 9.8 percent. Last year, bilateral trade approximated 4.7 billion USD, up 23.8 percent year-on-year, of which Vietnam’s exports hit 3.7 billion USD, up 35 percent, and imports were 963 million USD, down 6.5 percent.

Over the past years, the two nations have cooperated actively and effectively in bilateral economic and trade cooperation mechanisms, while coordinating with each other in multilateral mechanisms, building and completing important legal foundations in trade development such as the agreement to boost Vietnam-Cambodia bilateral trade.

Border infrastructure has been improved as well, thus creating favourable conditions for the two countries’ business communities and people living along the borderline to promote trade exchanges and investment attraction, Hai said.

Moreover, their agencies and localities have regularly organised meetings and stepped up delegation exchanges to intensify mutual understanding and increase the efficiency of solving difficulties in economic and trade collaboration, he added.

To better tap bilateral economic cooperation potential, Hai suggested both sides maintain an opener and more favourable business and investment environment, complete a legal framework for collaboration activities, and simplify administrative and investment procedures.

Both sides should promote the efficiency of bilateral cooperation mechanisms through the inter-Governmental Committee and working groups, and organise more trade fairs and conferences, he suggested, adding that it is also necessary to increase the role of the overseas Vietnamese community and Vietnamese businesses operating in Cambodia, considering them important channels to bolster trade and investment between the two countries.

Trade official: Vietnam treasures economic ties with partners in Americas

Vietnam hopes to further grow trade and investment co-operation with countries in the Americas, with a particular focus on energy, telecommunications, high-tech agriculture, and other high value-added industries, an official from the Ministry of Industry and Trade has said.

trade official: vietnam treasures economic ties with partners in americas hinh 0

Do Thang Hai, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, speaks at the meeting.

At a “Meeting with Partners from the Americas 2019” held for the first time by the ministry in Hanoi on February 25, Do Thang Hai, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, attributed Vietnam’s economic achievements over the past years to its effective co-operation with international partners, including those from the Americas.

Hai went on to say that co-operation in trade and investment between Vietnam and countries in the Americas has increased in recent years.

Currently, Vietnam has established trade partnerships with all 35 sovereign states throughout the Americas. Bilateral trade between the ASEAN country and these states has surged over four times from US$17.2 billion in 2008 to US$78.35 billion in 2018.

The country made over US$58.03 billion from overseas shipments to the Americas while spending some US$20.32 billion on imports from the region. As an investment destination, Vietnam is home to a combined 1,180 projects invested by 24 countries in the Americas, totaling US$15.5 billion in registered capital.

The deputy minister emphasized the fruitful traditional friendship and huge potential for stronger bilateral co-operation as major factors to enable Vietnam and countries in the Americas to work closer together for the sake of more comprehensive co-operation, notably in the fields of trade and investment.

Both sides stand on the opportune threshold of grasping chances to benefit both sides and enjoy extensive growth, Hai said.

Jorge Rondón Uzcategui, Venezuelan Ambassador to Vietnam, mentioned his strong belief that there is a bright prospect for further bilateral trade and investment co-operation between Vietnam and countries in the Americas. 

The diplomat highlighted the technical assistance Vietnam has offered to the agricultural sector of some countries in the Americas. Of note, several rice cultivation and aquaculture projects funded by Vietnam have yielded considerable profits in Cuba and Venezuela, partly helping the two countries assure their food security.

Up to 200 delegates attended the “Meeting with Partners from the Americas 2019”. This kind of event is set to be held annually as a bridge to further improve traditional friendships as well as trade and investment relations between Vietnam and countries in the Americas.

Credit limit to double for the poor

     

 

Agribank will apply a consumer lending package of about VND5 trillion with quick procedures and documents for poor borrowers. — Photo Agribank

 The Government will double the credit limit for poor people seeking loans without collateral, as part of efforts to reduce poverty and prevent loan sharks.

Under a new decision, which will take effect from March 1 this year, poor households will be allowed to borrow a maximum of VND100 million (US$4,300) instead of VND50 million as before, for up to 120 months from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) and the Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank).

Besides poverty reduction, the new policy on increasing the limits of unsecured loans given by banks to the poor is also aimed to prevent those people from approaching loan sharks with exorbitant interest rates. The number of loan sharks preying on vulnerable people has increased sharply recently and caused adverse impacts on society.

According to the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV)’s Banking Supervision Agency, loan sharks often target people with unstable incomes, who live in remote areas and need money for healthcare and food. Banks should therefore expand their formal credit to remote areas, helping prevent and repel loan sharks.

In order to prevent loan sharks, SBV Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu recently asked Agribank to research and apply a consumer lending package of about VND5 trillion with quick procedures and documents.

The VBSP should also supplement consumer lending programmes to facilitate the lives of poor households, Tu instructed.

According to Tu, it is possible to request such loans and disbursement within one day, meeting the urgent and legitimate needs of borrowers. The goal of this flexible policy is to financially support low-income people and farmers in remote areas so that they don’t look for illegal money lending. 

VN seeks further co-operation with Japan

     

 

Japanese firms check out Vietnamese fruit at a kiosk at the Cooperative Union of Agricultural Consumption. 

 The support industry, along with the labour, tourism and agriculture sectors, should become the spearheads in the co-operation between Japan and Viet Nam.

Chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc made the statement at conference said on Monday.

These sectors had the potential for the two countries to further their bilateral relationship, Loc said at the Viet Nam – Japan Economic Dialogue held within the framework of a four-day visit by a Japanese business delegation led by Kobayashi Yoichi, chairman of the Japan – Mekong Economic Cooperation Committee.

Viet Nam’s policies for developing its support industry had not reached its full potential, Loc said, adding that support from Japan in sharing experience and technologies played a significant role in promoting the industry, especially in enabling small and medium sized enterprises to engage in the production chain.

Loc said the VCCI was willing to work closely with the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) to provide support to Japanese firms seeking Vietnamese partners.

Labour was also a potential field for co-operation between the two countries given the Japanese government’s efforts to reform regulations to attract more foreign workers as well as ensuring the rights of foreign workers, Loc said.

It was estimated that there were around 300,000 Vietnamese working and studying in Japan in 2018, an increase of six times over the past six years, he said.

Loc said the potential for promoting co-operation in tourism between the two countries was significant, adding that Japan was one of the major markets in Viet Nam’s tourism development strategy by 2020 with a vision to 2030.

Currently, there are direct flight routes connecting Ha Noi and HCM City to major cities in Japan, including Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.

“Trade and investment promotion together with tourism and cultural activities will be a launch pad to boost co-operation between Japan and Viet Nam,” Loc said.

Viet Nam also wanted further co-operation with Japan in agriculture.

In order to do so, Viet Nam would need to enhance its business climate, improve the capacity of firms, develop economic infrastructure and create mechanisms to facilitate trade and investment, Loc said.

According to Yoichi, Viet Nam with a population of 100 million, was an attractive destination for foreign investors, including Japan.

Statistics showed that there were around 1,900 Japanese firms investing in Viet Nam with total registered capital of around US$8.6 billion.

Around 70 per cent of them said their business in Viet Nam was efficient and wanted to expand investments, compared to the rate of about 50 per cent from other ASEAN countries.

Yoichi also said that companies from many countries were looking to shift their production from China to Japan, which would present significant opportunities to Viet Nam’s support industry.

According to Shinichiro Shimizu, director of Japan Airlines, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership would open significant opportunities for member countries, through which bilateral relations between Viet Nam and Japan would develop further.

45 years after establishing diplomatic relations, Japan is now the second largest foreign investor, the third largest tourism partner and the fourth largest trade partner of Viet Nam. 

Deputy PM receives Samsung Vietnam’s new director


Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung (R) and new general director of Samsung Vietnam, Choi Joo-ho 

The Vietnamese Government highly appreciated investors from the Republic of Korea (RoK), including Samsung, for their efforts towards maintaining the RoK’s position as the largest foreign investor in Vietnam for many years, said Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung. 

The Vietnamese official made the statement at a reception for the new general director of Samsung Vietnam, Choi Joo-ho, in Hanoi on February 26, during which he praised the contributions made by Samsung Vietnam to promoting the development of the country’s support industry.

Samsung is one of the enterprises most notable for encouraging and facilitating Vietnamese enterprises’ participation in value chains, he said.  

While affirming that it is Vietnam’s strategy to prioritise the development of supporting industries, Deputy PM Dung proposed that RoK firms in general, and especially Samsung, continue to play a leading role in pushing Vietnamese support enterprises for joint development. 

He said in order to develop the support industry, the role of leading companies is very important as they are both customers and facilitators for enterprises to join the value chain, thus increasing the localisation rate of products manufactured in Vietnam.

The Deputy PM also suggested Samsung prioritise investment in research and development, and strategic human resource training; pay more attention to improving workers’ lives; and participate more actively in humanitarian and charitable activities in Vietnamese localities.

For his part, Choi noted the opinions of Deputy PM Dung and affirmed that Samsung will take the initiative in its role as one of the main “locomotives”  of Vietnam’s support industry development. 

According to Choi, Samsung Vietnam’s export turnover hit over 60 billion USD in 2018, 12 percent higher than that of 2017. The company also has many policies to develop support industries, including directly supporting Vietnamese firms and training consultants in the sphere. 

Last year, as many as 35 Vietnamese companies became first-level suppliers for Samsung. About 627 Vietnamese businesses have joined the supply chain, accounting for about 30 percent of Samsung’s total suppliers.

Currently, the RoK has more than 7,300 valid investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of 62.1 billion USD. Of which, Samsung is the largest foreign investor in the Southeast Asian country with 6 projects worth over 17.3 billion USD. Samsung’s projects have created jobs for nearly 160,000 employees.

Seminar on int’l cooperation in changing world closes


At the event (Source: qdnd)

A seminar on international cooperation in a changing world wrapped up in Ho Chi Minh City on February 26 after two days of sitting. 

Co-organised by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV)’s Institute for Foreign Policies and Strategic Studies and the Russian-based Valdai Discussion Club, the event attracted political researchers, experts from universities and research institutes, and representatives from Vietnamese ministries and agencies. 

Their discussions focused on challenges and opportunities in matters of security in Asia, multilateral cooperation in Asia and Asia-Europe, and the prospects of Vietnam-Russia ties after 2019. 

Speaking at the event, DAV Director Nguyen Vu Tung said Vietnam-Russia ties are founded on the back of sentiment and mutual trust, looking likely to thrive in the near future. 

He suggested that both sides share their concerns; discuss their relations with third parties like ASEAN, US, and China; as well as focus their joint work on new technology and innovation in both bilateral and multilateral aspects. 

Chairman of the Board of the club’s Foundation for Development and Support Andrey Bystritskiy proposed opening up new opportunities for bilateral exchanges as well as forming dialogues to seek new measures to boost ties. 

PM asks Thai group to continue investment in Vietnam


Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosts a reception for SCG President and CEO Roongrote Rangsiyopash

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested that Thailand’s Siam Cement Group (SCG) continue investing in Vietnam and accelerate the implementation of investment projects in the Southeast Asian country.

He made the recommendation while receiving SCG President and CEO Roongrote Rangsiyopash in Hanoi on February 26.

The PM hailed the group for its investment activities in Vietnam in various fields such as chemicals, construction materials, and packaging, which make practical contributions to the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Thailand.

He said Vietnam attaches great importance to enhancing the strategic partnership with Thailand and expressed his pleasure in the strong development of cooperation between the two countries’ businesses.

The PM asked SCG to ensure the progress, efficiency, and environmental protection for the petrochemical complex project in southern Vietnam, in accordance with the group’s commitments and Vietnamese law.

Rangsiyopash said the group has proactively worked with Vietnam’s relevant agencies to promote the implementation of the project, which is expected to be operational in 2023.

About 400 contractors and 60 Vietnamese engineers are working on the project, he said, adding that these engineers will be given intensive training to improve their professional skills.

The Thai group is committed to ensuring the progress of the project, as well as its security, safety, and environmental protection, he affirmed.

The PM highly appreciated the group’s strong determination and stressed the petrochemical industry is an important field for Vietnam’s economy. He urged the group to complete the project as soon as possible.

Vietnam will ensure a favourable business investment environment for foreign investors, including those from Thailand, he said.

He expressed his belief that the Vietnamese investment activities of SCG in particular and Thai investors in general will continue contributing to the sound relations between the two countries. 

Vietnam backs OECD’s multi-dimensional country review


The Vietnamese Government supports the implementation of the Multi-dimensional Country Review (MDCR) of Vietnam, considering this an important task that requires the engagement of many experts and scientists, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has said. 

The official made the remarks at a reception for Jan Rielaender, head of the MDCR Unit of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in Hanoi on February 26. 

The Government has instructed relevant ministries and agencies to coordinate with the OECD in building the review, he said.

Hue told his guest that Vietnam is preparing for the 13th National Party Congress and Vietnamese leaders aim to set out visions for the country beyond the next ten years. 

Therefore, Vietnam wants to know international views on its target of becoming a modern industrialised or developed nation, he said, noting that this is the key for building a national strategy. 

The official highlighted the Vietnam 2035 Report, which was composed with the support of the World Bank (WB), and the network of initiatives mobilised by the Government and the Prime Minister. 

Besides, Vietnam is completing a strategy for foreign investment attraction and use, while successfully implementing the strategy for the development of agriculture, rural areas and farmers, Hue said. 

The Deputy PM expressed his hope for outcomes of the OECD’s MDCR of Vietnam. 

For his part, Jan Rielaender spoke highly of Vietnam’s plan to 2035 with a vision towards 2045, suggesting strategies and policies aim to improve capacity of local businesses amidst the strong scientific and technological development. 

He said he will study further to give more in-depth assessments and meticulous recommendations to Vietnam.


Source: Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue (right) and Jan Rielaender, head of the MDCR Unit of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development  - Bridge

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